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Search tags: african-american-literature
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text 2016-03-22 02:38
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Junebug - Alice Mead

Citation: Mead, A. (2009). Junebug. Square Fish.

 

Annotation:

"Some of the stuff that goes on in the Auburn Street Projects, I'm never gonna do. These projects are like some kind of never-never land, like they never got put on a regular map. Nobody comes around here on purpose. It's as if we all got lost, right in the middle of the city."

Reeve McClain, Jr.--Junebug--has decided to skip his birthday. Since ten is the age when boys in the projects are forced to join gangs or are ensnared by drug dealers, Junebug would rather remain nine. Still, he does have a birthday wish: to someday become a ship's captain and sail away. So Junebug comes up with a plan to launch a flotilla, fifty glass bottles containing notes with his wish, in the hope that someone somewhere will help to make his dream come true.

 

Author's Information: I had an unusually healthy childhood-sailing across the ocean on a steamship at age 7, visiting England,Scotland, and Norway, and playing endlessly with my dollhouse, which perhaps eventually lead to writing many books for children. Because I live in a refugee resettlement city Portland, ME, I wrote about displaced kids from war areas, Sudan, Kurdistan, and Kosovo. I was also an art teacher. The book, Soldier Mom, now 20 years old, was written during the first Gulf War, when we suddenly used a "reserve" army instead of an enlisted one. I had two active sons, dogs, rabbit, chameleon, hamster and later assisted 40 Kosova high school students. I loved gardening, painting, reading. But suddenly began to hurt everywhere, falling, weak. Nothing helped.I had to leave my job as an art teacher but was still able to write.
Nearly twenty years (plus a bout with severe cancer) into feeling weak, I now know I have Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disease that affects your eyes, breathing, endurance and speech.
I still write, paint, sing, practice my standup comedy, and take photographs. Really nothing inside me has changed at all. I fight to improve, laugh over the silliness of ordinary life, and am curious about all sorts of things.

 

Rewards: None

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

Genre: Fiction

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text 2016-03-22 02:33
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Junebug in Trouble - Alice Mead

Citation: Mead, A. (2002). Junebug in trouble. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.

 

Annotation: It's Labor Day weekend, and Junebug hasn't seen his friend Robert since May, when Junebug's family moved from their housing project. Now, Mama, Tasha, Harriet, and Junebug are off to the beach for a reunion. Robert is there, but so is Trevor, another boy from the housing project who is a gang member with a gun. With Junebug gone, Trevor easily befriended Robert and is luring him to join the gang. Can Junebug stop Robert?

 

Author's Information: I had an unusually healthy childhood-sailing across the ocean on a steamship at age 7, visiting England,Scotland, and Norway, and playing endlessly with my dollhouse, which perhaps eventually lead to writing many books for children. Because I live in a refugee resettlement city Portland, ME, I wrote about displaced kids from war areas, Sudan, Kurdistan, and Kosovo. I was also an art teacher. The book, Soldier Mom, now 20 years old, was written during the first Gulf War, when we suddenly used a "reserve" army instead of an enlisted one. I had two active sons, dogs, rabbit, chameleon, hamster and later assisted 40 Kosova high school students. I loved gardening, painting, reading. But suddenly began to hurt everywhere, falling, weak. Nothing helped.I had to leave my job as an art teacher but was still able to write.
Nearly twenty years (plus a bout with severe cancer) into feeling weak, I now know I have Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disease that affects your eyes, breathing, endurance and speech.
I still write, paint, sing, practice my standup comedy, and take photographs. Really nothing inside me has changed at all. I fight to improve, laugh over the silliness of ordinary life, and am curious about all sorts of things.

 

Rewards: None

Reading Level: Grades 4-7

Genre: Fiction

 

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text 2016-03-22 02:18
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Leon's Story - Leon Walter Tillage,Susan L. Roth

Citation: Jones, J. (1909). Leo's story. London: Religious Tract Society.

 

Annotation: Leon Tillage grew up the son of a sharecropper in a small town in North Carolina. Told in vignettes, this is his story about walking four miles to the school for black children, and watching a school bus full of white children go past. It's about his being forced to sit in the balcony at the movie theater, hiding all night when the Klansmen came riding, and worse. Much worse.


But it is also the story of a strong family and the love that bound them together. And, finally, it's about working to change an oppressive existence by joining the civil rights movement. Edited from recorded interviews conducted by Susan L. Roth, Leon's story will stay with readers long after they have finished his powerful account.

 

Author's Information: Leon Walter Tillage lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he has worked for thirty years as a custodian at The Park School.
Susan L. Roth's many picture books include "Ishi's Tale of Lizard," which was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. She lives in Great Neck, New York. 

 

Reward: winner of the 1998 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

Genre: Autobiography Nonfiction

 

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text 2016-03-22 01:58
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Money Hungry - Sharon G. Flake

Citation:

Flake, S. (2001). Money hungry. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books For Children.

 

Annotation: Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money. She will do just about anything legal to get her hands on the almighty dollar. Memories of being homeless, sleeping in the streets, and eating from handouts keep Raspberry's eye on the only prize that matters to her: cold, hard cash.

But even money can't answer the questions that keep Raspberry awake at night. Will she and Momma ever move out of the projects? What did Ja'nae do with the two hundred bucks Raspberry loaned her? And what's really going on with Momma and that rich doctor?

This unforgettable novel will keep you glued to each and every page. Bank on it.

 

Author's Information: Sharon G. Flake exploded onto the literary scene with her novel The Skin I'm In, in 1998, and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Since then she has become a multiple Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award winner and has been hailed as the voice of middle-grade youth and a Rising Star by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Many of Sharon’s novels have received ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults citations from the American Library Association. Her writing has been applauded for its on-point narrative that explores issues affecting teens from all walks of life. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Reward:

  • Coretta Scott King Honor Award
  • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh One Community One Book
  • Starred review in Booklist Magazine
  • New York Public Library Top Ten Books for the Teen Age
  • LA Times Recommended Books for Teens
  • Carolyn Field Honor Book

Reading Level: Grades 6-8

Genre: Realistic Fiction

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text 2016-03-22 01:42
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Pinned - Sharon G. Flake

Citation: Flake, S. (2012). Pinned. New York: Scholastic Press.

 

Annotation: Award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, presents a powerful novel about a teen boy and girl, each tackling disabilities.

Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common--they're each dealing with a handicap. For Autumn, who has a learning disability, reading is a painful struggle that makes it hard to focus in class. But as her school's most aggressive team wrestler, Autumn can take down any problem. Adonis is confined to a wheelchair. He has no legs. He can't walk or dance. But he's a strong reader who loves books. Even so, Adonis has a secret he knows someone like Autumn can heal.

In time, Autumn and Adonis are forced to see that our greatest weaknesses can turn into the assets that forever change us and those we love.

Told in alternating voices, Takedown explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different.

 

Author's Information: Sharon G. Flake exploded onto the literary scene with her novel The Skin I'm In, in 1998, and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Since then she has become a multiple Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award winner and has been hailed as the voice of middle-grade youth and a Rising Star by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Many of Sharon’s novels have received ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults citations from the American Library Association. Her writing has been applauded for its on-point narrative that explores issues affecting teens from all walks of life. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Rewards:

2014

  • Novel selected for Viacom’s Get Schooled National Summer Reading Book Club (1,100 middle schools and high schools to participate.)
  • Outstanding Book of the Year, Detroit Public Library
  • Florida Teen Reads List (i.e.: novel placed on the state’s suggested reading list)

 2012-2013

  • Best Books of Year for Kirkus Reviews
  • Starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Horn Book
  • NAACP Image Award Nominee
  • Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices (CCBC) Best Books of the Year List
  • Capital Choices Noteworthy Titles for Teens
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Kansas City Reading Circle

Reading Level: Grades 5-9

Genre: Young Adult

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